Your story matters! - JOHANNA WALKER

Your story matters!

Your story matters!

I know, I know, it’s been a while.
Which reminds me of a story.
Which I’m gonna tell you…
 
If you’ve been around these parts for a while, you probably know I was a quiet kid. It wasn’t like I had stuff to say that I was keeping to myself–I was mostly just in a state of terror, and the terror kept my mind from thinking and listening, so when it was my turn to talk, I pretty much came up blank.
 
I spiraled deep into the story of “I have nothing to say” and believed in my bones that that story was true. 
 
Stories are powerful.
 
Then when I *did* have something to say, after so much time of being quiet, I usually held back from saying it.
 
The story I told myself was something like:
 
“Now that I’ve been quiet for so long, everyone will expect something extraordinary to come out of my mouth (She’s finally speaking! What’s she gonna say?!) and I couldn’t possibly live up to that expectation.” 
 
I told myself I was probably wrong anyway.
I told myself whatever I had to say wasn’t worth speaking.
The risk of humiliation was too great.
 
So I stuffed that little thought back into the crevices of my mind, and went on and on in the spiral of quiet, believing the stories I was telling myself about who I was and how little my voice mattered. 
 
Stories are powerful.
 
The stories we tell ourselves are powerful.
The stories we tell the world are powerful.
The stories the world tells us about who we are and who we get to be are powerful.
 
Sometimes they’re true and sometimes they’re not.
But oh, when we believe them, they have tremendous power. 
 
Here’s a story I’ve been telling myself about this very blog.
A story that reminded me of that old story:
 
“You haven’t written a blog post in months, Johanna! Now that you’ve been quiet for so long, you better say something extraordinary or you’re in trouble.” 
 
Talk about pressure. 
 
Luckily I caught myself and told some different stories, which, believe it or not, sound a lot like the ones I tell my clients when they’re holding back from putting themselves out as a speaker. They sounded something like this:
  1. It’s not about you—it’s about your reader, your listener
  2. Yes it’s about your reader, but YOU ARE A FREAKIN GENIUS (yes you) and your readers (or listeners) are waiting to hear what you have to say. 
  3. What you have to say matters. (Really. It does. To someone it will make a big difference, even if not to everyone) 
  4. And, riffing off one of the rules in the Speaker’s Playground: Go before you’re ready and you will find out what you have to say simply by saying it
Not only does speaking help connect you to what you have to say, it actually connects you to your power. (I had this experience recently, where speaking connected me to my power Watch this space and I’ll tell you about it, and show you how you can do it too!)
 
It’s like a mirror that reflects back to you~
 
This is who you are in the world.
OWN IT. 
 
How bout you? What are the stories you tell yourself that keep you from taking up space, giving that talk, saying the thing you know you need to say, sending your newsletter? What’s the new story you’d like to be telling instead? 
 
I’d love to hear!

Your story matters!

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